IRS Needs to Improve Tracking Of Laptops, Smartphones, TIGTA Says
Oct. 29 –The Internal Revenue Service should keep better track of its information technology assets to prevent loss and theft, according to a Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration report.
“Our review determined that weaknesses in controls over asset management create an environment in which information technology assets are vulnerable to loss,” said the report, released Oct. 29.
The IRS Information Technology Office controls more than 306,000 IT assets–including computers, smartphones and other electronic hardware–for a total value of almost $720 million as part of the Knowledge, Incident/Problem, Service Asset Management (KISAM) program.
TIGTA performed the audit to determine whether system user permissions were able to properly safeguard information technology asset inventory.
Data within the KISAM Asset Manager was inaccurate and incomplete because the IRS wasn’t following proper procedures to record information, the report said.
TIGTA also found that some inventory controls were ineffective when they were created in an environment vulnerable to loss. TIGTA selected 146 IT assets to verify and couldn’t locate and verify 34 of those assets, which had a total value of $948,000.
Some IRS offices also improperly completed annual inventory verification processes.
The report, “Weaknesses in Asset Management Controls Leave Information Technology Assets Vulnerable to Loss” (2013-20-089), is at http://www.treasury.gov/tigta/auditreports/2013reports/201320089fr.pdf.